Sh*t Bartenders Do (But Shouldn’t), Pt. 1

1. It’s a given, I think, that martinis should be stirred and not shaken, but I understand that some easily influenced souls actually prefer a diluted, cloudy mess in their martini glass. Still, when I specifically ask you to stir rather than shake my martini, please ONLY stir it. Don’t give it a stir and then plop it into one of those precious tiny shakers for a good shaking up at the table.

2. A Manhattan contains sweet vermouth, and a sizable amount of it, at that. Please do not mix my Manhattan as if it were a very dry martini.

3. I accept that you may be a very clean-minded individual who washes their hands regularly, but I don’t know that as fact. So please don’t hold my beer glass by the lip when you’re pouring my draft beer. I have to drink from that thing.

4. And speaking of draft beer, when the foam you have poured off one pint settles in a separate glass, it becomes flat beer, NOT beer that is suitable for using to top up my pint.

5. If I ask for a call brand of booze that I can plainly see on your back bar, please believe me that it’s there and what I want. Do not stare at me as if I’m some sort of idiot because you don’t have enough professionalism to actually know the brands your bar stocks.

14 Replies to “Sh*t Bartenders Do (But Shouldn’t), Pt. 1”

  1. I hate it when I ask for a Cadillac margarita and they try to use low-grade tequila, with the premise that you shouldn’t use “the good stuff” in a mixed drink, even tho all the other ingredients are high grade and fresh made…

  2. this reminds me of being in a pub in Dublin and the guy next to me at the bar ordered a whiskey and water along with several pints for his group, who were sat next to my table. The barman brought the whiskey over, having pre-mixed the water into the whiskey. For the next half hour or so, the old fella mumbled on about how bar staff no longer understand and value their trade. It made for great listening.

  3. My theory is that the quantity of sweet vermouth in a Manhattan is inversely proportionate to the quality of the bourbon. I like them fine with a driz when it’s Maker’s Mark but add more for something rougher. Better quality than than may not even want mixing to keep my taste buds happy.

    1. Lighter bourbons such as Maker’s can take a little less vermouth, but if it’s only a drop or two then it’s not a Manhattan.

  4. You’ve actually seen bar staff hold a glass by the lip when pouring a beer? Ew. Ick. That would immediately go on my “this place is dead to me” list.

    1. It’s the old “pour two draft at once” trick, Don: grab both glasses by the top and operate the tap handle with your middle or ring finger.

  5. As a bartender I do find these funny. I think the only one I’m definitely guilty of is the first one. However, I will say that most consumers have no idea what they are drinking. I can’t name the number of people who order and old fashion because they saw it on Mad Men. Shortly there after I’m being told they don’t like it. I definitely agree with making a Manhattan. Being that it is the drink I order the most, I definitely know how to make that.

    As more of a beer drinker, I am very careful with any and all beer related bar issues.

  6. I too am guilty of number one. No more. However, at a dive bar, if you stirred a Martini, that is when you will get dirty or weird looks. But, a customer’s ignorance is no reason to dumb yourself down. I will experiment and keep you posted.

    Now, can we have a list called “Sh*t bar patrons do (but shouldn’t), Pt.1?

  7. I’ll turn it round and state some of the ‘S*it Customers Say’. My favourites whilst tending a very respectable bar were: “A glass of wine please.” & “A pint of beer bro.” and don’t get me started when customers ask for 2 lattes and 3 espressos at 11pm!!

  8. That’s the list? Truly small list.

    How about the wannabe actors whose attitude is through the roof? Also, when stuff goes down, as it does in every bar, listen to both sides of the story instead of jumping on one side. If a regular’s behaviour demonstrates that they don’t cause trouble, that is useful evidence. Not everybody in a bar wants to be approached and talked to. Management should train bar staff as professionals, not sensitive people that have agendas. There is a meaning behind the term “professionalism”.

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